- Slides: 16
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Joan Garrod
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Demography is the study of populations. Demographic trends are developments that affect the composition of a population, including changes in: • birth and death rates • how long people are expected to live • the proportion of males and females • migration both into and out of the country There have been many significant changes in the UK population since 1900. Why do you think that the study of a population is important?
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Birth rates The birth rates in a population are influenced by many things. • One important factor is obviously the number of women of childbearing age in a population. • Overall, birth rates have fallen steadily since 1900. • Exceptions are the two ‘baby booms’ after each of the two world wars, the one in the 1960 s and an ‘echo’ in the 1980 s as the children of the 1960 s boom reached childbearing age. • The fall in the birth rate in 2013 was the largest annual decrease since 1975. What factors can you think of that might cause birth rates to fall?
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Crude birth rate There are several different ways of measuring birth rates. One measure of the births occurring in a society is the crude birth rate (CBR). • The crude birth rate is the number of live births per thousand of the total population in a given year. • As a measure it is ‘crude’ in that it measures the number of live births per thousand of everybody else in the population: men, children and older women. What do you think the crude birth rate is currently? • The CBR for 2014 is estimated at 12. 22. • In 1900, it was 26. See the graph on the next page. (Source: adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v. 3. 0. )
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Changes in the UK crude birth rate
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Fertility rate A more satisfactory measure of birth rates is the fertility rate. • The fertility rate is the number of live births per thousand women of childbearing age in a given year. • For demographic purposes, the childbearing period is reckoned as 15 to 44. The next slide shows UK fertility rates for selected years. (Source: adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v. 3. 0. )
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 UK fertility rates in selected years Year Fertility rate 1901 3. 5 1911 2. 8 1921 2. 4 1931 1. 8 1951 2. 4 1961 2. 6 1971 2. 0 1981 1. 7 1991 1. 8 2001 1. 91 2013 1. 85 Comment Economic depression Baby boom
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Total fertility rate Yet another measure of births in a population is the total fertility rate. • The total fertility rate is the number of children a woman in a given population is likely to have by the end of her childbearing years, based on the current birth rate in that population. • In 2013 the UK total fertility rate was 1. 94. • The total fertility rate also gives us another measure, the CFS — completed family size.
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Reasons for the fall in birth rate (1) • The fall in the infant mortality rate. Once parents knew that children had a better chance of survival, they didn’t have as many. • The advent of the welfare state. This meant that people received some financial support in their old age, rather than having to rely on their children to look after them. • The availability of reliable contraception and legalised abortion. Families are now more easily able to plan the number of children they wish to have. • The growing number of women in employment. There are difficulties involved in being in paid work and raising a family. Working women tend to delay having children, and older mothers have fewer children.
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Reasons for the fall in birth rate (2) • The rise in the age of compulsory education. This means that children are dependent for longer. • The rising economic costs of parenthood. Figures for 2015 show the average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 stands at £ 230, 000. • The growing proportion of women in higher education and following careers. This leads to either delayed motherhood or choosing not to have children at all. • Voluntary childlessness. The proportion of childless women is rising. 19% of women born in 1968 (whose childbearing years are assumed to be over) are childless, compared to 11% of women born in 1941.
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Trends in UK births (1) • Almost half (47. 4%) of births now occur outside marriage or a civil partnership, with just over half (52. 6%) taking place within marriage or civil partnership. This reflects changes in social norms. • Over a quarter (26. 5%) of births are now to women born outside the UK. This reflects the fact that migrants to the UK have a younger age profile than the population as a whole, so a greater proportion of them are in their childbearing years. Some come from societies where the average family size is higher than in the UK, and cultural norms have a significant effect on birth rates.
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Trends in UK births (2) • Another trend in childbearing is the rise in the average of mothers. In 2014, this rose to 30 for the first time. Suggested reasons for the rise include: o more women participating in higher education and going on to establish a career o improvements in fertility treatment • Around 4% of all UK births are now to women aged 40 and over. This is linked to the changes above.
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Death rates The deaths in a population are measured by the crude death rate. • The crude death rate is the number of deaths per thousand of the population in a given year. • It is sometimes referred to as the mortality rate. The current UK death rate is 9. 34. In 1900 it was around 16. What reasons can you think of for the fall in the death rate since 1900?
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 Age distribution The age distribution of a population is the proportion of people in different age groups throughout the population. The UK has moved from a position of high birth rates and high death rates to one of low birth rates and low death rates. • This results in an ageing population, that is one with a relatively high proportion of older people. What do you think are some of the consequences of an ageing population?
Demographic changes in the UK, Part 1 End of Part 1 Look out for Part 2 of ‘Demographic changes in the UK’ in the next issue of SOCIOLOGY REVIEW. All data is adapted from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v. 3. 0 (www. ons. gov. uk).